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Comment Re:Potholes? (Score 1) 183 183

I live in a province that has seasonal temperature fluctuations from -35F (about -32C) to 50C (125F) between summer and winter. And we use a ton of salt. Salt is quite corrosive to cement, and to metal.

Our roads and highways have nicknames. The road of 1000 patches to the 10K patch highway. A good American example of patchwork is to visit Buffalo NY.

Comment Re:Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

I frequently ride public transit in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It is the largest fare free system in the US. It is used by many people but growth in usage depends on many factors. Park and Ride lots make a big difference for people who live outside of town and must drive to get even close to their destination. Sidewalks make a difference because people who live close enough to walk to a bus stop have to have a safe place to walk. The Chapel Hill buses have bike carriers on the front so that bike riders can take the bus for part of their trip.

But one of the biggest factor is how easy it is to find parking. Cities use a huge amount of their space just to store cars during the day. The more expensive and hard to find parking becomes, the more people will use free public transit.

And all of this takes time. People have to adjust to the new reality of bus transportation being easier and cheaper than owning and driving a car. Over time, people will make decisions about where to live based in part on the presence of public transit. And if businesses also locate in areas served by transit, then it's easier for people to live and work on a transit line.

Its great to learn about the CH experiences and Public Transportation. As for the future, I think we may not see an increase in the Public Transportation for the following reason(s).
With self driving cars, we can see a situation where a fleet of such cars will prevail, not likely to be owned by public transportion.

That is, you order a ride and a vehicle comes to your door. You instruct/program your destination and away you go. When you arrive, you get out. Billing is automatic, to your bank account, and the vehicle is used to satisfy another customer. The safety will be superior to what we have today. It will impact large cities very negatively. No need for huge streets lined with parking meters and no parking meter revenue. Driverless taxis would be part of that system.
Jobs will disappear.

Testing is already proving it is possible to implement within 5 years. In some European tests about road transport (drivers managing 53 foot trailers, automation is allowing one lead driver and 4 automated driverless vehicles to follow the lead). Number of drivers will be reduced to 20% of what is required today.

And other industries will be impacted too. So, it is a moot subject to discuss free public transportation as the future is now.

Comment Re:Good point, but Uber is a bad example (Score 1) 432 432

Uber is an illegal cab company and should just be shut down. If Uber puts the cab companies out of business it most certainly take away a lot of "real" jobs. Furthermore, we'll all be slaves to "surge pricing". And make no mistake, surge pricing is going to increase drunk driving fatalities.

Where I live, we have a provincial and municipal body that insures that cabs and cabbies meet certain standards.
The cabs have to be above a minimal size, clean, safe, (non-smoking driver or passenger) and are randomly spot-checked for brakes, door latches, odometer settings, etc.

The cabbies have health checks against contagious diseases, have passed a rigorous driving test, and are not on parole. A sex related or physical violence criminal records would disallow the cabby from having a license. The cab license includes insurance and proof of insurance.

Like other big cities, the cab license is in the one to two hundred thousand dollar range. The idea being to induce owner/operator cabbies versus leased for the day or month taxis.
Certain taxis are equipped for disabled client transportation (wheel chair) or other. Some drivers are working split shifts --- 5:30am to 10am, 4pm to 11pm to make ends meet.

Uber has to play by the same rules or they are going to be out. The province is considering a Taxi Organization of which drivers must be members, in order to work as cabbies and chauffeurs. This is a licensing organization would be similar to home-renovation, plumbers, electricians, building contractors, etc.


Comment Re:Excuse to keep using oil (Score 1) 249 249

If this is true, clearly we need to be putting MORE CO2 into the atmosphere, not less. That's just science.

I'm in my mid 70's. I would be 95+ in the 2030's and probably dead. So Write to the younger crowd who may then worry for the next 14 years of the prophesy will come true.

And what about science and ways to perhaps manage our climate. Is it time to start the related studies?

Comment Re: Like the nazi used to say (Score 1) 431 431

You gotta wonder why he thought it was OK to trespass and steal switches though.

I think "abandoned warehouse" had a lot to do with it. Such abandoned industrial locations certainly were looked at as parts repositories by myself and my friends in our school days. Some of the places we scavenged where shut down 10+ years.

The old Honeywell mercury switch thermostats were the best ever. The as the glass vial was tilted from temperature change, the mercury blob would roll past the center to the other side, -- and there was no contact bounce.

In the old tube days, I build a FM tuner kit. Squelch was not working too well, so I installed a mercury relay to mute the signal when tuning across the dial.
The mercury relay also had no bounce. Mute was either on, or off, with no contact noise or jitter due to small vibrations.
Those were the good old days of Heathkit, and Eico products.

Comment Re:Knowing when not to (Score 1) 345 345

What separates C++ beginners from those with 'intermediate' skills, or even masters?

Knowing when not to use templates, virtualization, [insert favorite c++ function here], etc.

Basically knowing enough about programming and problem solving with a particular language to tell a need from a want. Needing to use some language feature vs wanting to use some language feature. And being mature enough to stick to needs rather than indulge wants.

Or to state things differently ... all the features have a time and place, and its probably not all the time and in every place.

Think as a C programmer, (the kiss principal) and recast your solution into C++. Its not hard to convert structure manipulation into manipulation of an object. In effect, think simple, think about the next programmer who will be pulling his hair out trying to understand what the templates, castings, and obtuse code is doing.

Comment Re:Sounds like reasonable changes to me (Score 1) 116 116

I could be missing something, but frankly everything I read in the summery seems like reasonable changes to me.

Someone who actually is known to have purchased the item, yea, their review should be worth more than random Internet person #4827341

A review from last month is probably worth more than one from two years ago. The product may have changed.

Well, hopefully Amazon is not doing what TigerDirect was and may still be doing, re-editing or "correcting" customer reviews, particularly negative ones.

Comment Re: Why does the world need to be so complex (Score 1) 233 233

There is nothing that an anonymous person can say about someone that I will take seriously without evidence. So, if an anonymous person says that candidate X is a pedophile, but offers no evidence, I will take it as the ranting of a liar, and candidate X has not been harmed in any way, beyond registering as a person who has angered some random anonymous coward. On the other hand, if candidate X takes it upon himself to waste the court's time with crap which endangers the anonymity of legitimately fearful critics of policy everywhere, I suddenly believe candidate X is an ass, unelectable, and possibly even a pedophile.

That's you, but thats not the majority, and I bet most mothers would believe the posting, even if it was retracted. The harm has been done.

Comment Re:What are... (Score 1) 273 273

Units are complicated and many people overstate the benefits of having uniform worldwide units. If I'm choosing a unit for how I sell my goods, what's more important, that the person down the street is familiar with the unit, or somebody from Ghana will be familiar if he travels to my store.

In industry, whatever tool or system you're dealing with, you're going to either use something that is either imported or exported or has to be compatible with something that is imported or exported. Thus you are guaranteed that there will be SI units somewhere in your process and it is usually just easier to go with it for the whole process, as is done in the military, NASA, and most US engineering firms. In addition to being internationally compatible, it is also a damn lot easier to use. Sure, if you use no unit but feet, pounds and seconds in your calculation there is no unit conversion that needs to be done, but as soon as you go into the range where you might think in miles or ounces, it becomes fairly difficult to reconcile intuition with units unless you do some fiddly calculations. Whereas a native SI user knows intuitively how long a Km and mm is in the same way an American might recon a mile or an inch.

So you may say: "why don't I buy a 2 pounds of apples, then walk a mile to work where I use SI to design parts and trajectories and what not?" Problem is, if you're thinking in non SI, then non SI units tend to sneak into where they don't belong. The Mars Climate Orbiter for example fell out of the sky because Lockheed used pound-seconds instead of newton-seconds in a calculation.

Considering how much success other countries have had switching, I'm always surprised at America's feeble efforts to do so. I think it is just something to do with Americans natural paranoia about as you say a "New World Order" or whatever else that prevents it.

I think the legislators are all dumb, and think that the population is as dumb as they themselves are. Start with temperature. For 2 years mention both Celcius and Faharenheit, and after 2 years (or even 3) drop Faharenheit. Thats what Canada did. We transitioned to metric long ago, and thats helped Honda, Toyota and non-American car manufacturers to get a foothold in Canada and elsewhere. We have tools designed for metric measurements, not tools designed to American standards.
We do keep certain traditional sizes, such as a 4'x8' panels, and 2x4 inch lumber. But the houses are constructed with Metric measure. And new construction is done with prefabricated panels, measured and machined using metric measure, and with the panels fitting together precisely.

Comment Re:Depends on your perspective and tastes (Score 1) 410 410

don't forget CCTV. mustn't forget the omnipresent CCTV (roads, streets and buildings). also, you aren't allowed to withhold your passwords from police, there's even less police/secret services transparency than in the US of A; your kids will probably be taken away if you discipline them in public or if you go to a doctor with any kind of genital problem (UK children are not allowed to have genital problems).

oh and the sweaty armpits on tube (mmmm yummy), yobs who'll knife you if you complain about their loud music at night (wo'd ya say to mee?) and among the highest rent and property prices in the world. however, it's a good place to live if you're a member of any oppressed minority (race, sexuality, religion) as with so many minorities present nobody gives a shit about that anymore.

and if you happen to speak the most common language of london - polish, your life will be much cheaper (plumbers, carpenters, builders, car servicing, etc). the first thing you should do when you move to london is get a polish friend. i kid you not, they're 100x more useful than your local "citizen's advice bureau".

Your humor is very sarcastic. Sadly for the USA, almost any place is better than Silicon Valley. Why even Fairbanks Alaska or the Florida keys would be better. Most other US states, Europe, Canada, Latin America, India, Malaysia, and everywhere else have the talented engineers and imaginative people who can do better or equal.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 1067 1067


about 50 years ago I worked with APL, It treated the following n/n = 1 for any perfectly eqal numbers (float, integer, bit, double...)

If n,m were approaching zero, as even 0.000000009/0.000000009 it was still considered as 1.000000000 (or 1)
So, whats the big deal?

Of course, for n not equal to m and m, extremely close to zero, a zero divide error could be raised.
APL had a variable called []CT (quad-ct ) representing global comparison tolerance. It affected divide by zero.

QuadCT allowed comparisons of two floats to be considered equal if their difference was less than QuadCT. That decision affected n/m for floats.
if abs(m - n) QuadCT then m =n and therefore n/m in this case was equal to 1.

Just loved that decision in the language.

Comment Re:So is there a form for the ISP (Score 1) 99 99

"Assume you have more demand for bandwidth than you have bandwidth."

Translation; Company horribly oversold the bandwidth and is too cheap to buy a bigger pipe.

Its not a question of cheapness, or under capacity. If the peak occurs for 5 minutes in the day, and then there is only 40% utilisation of the network, do you add 50% capacity for the 5 minutes per day. Consider the slowdown during the 5 minutes as being a factor of 5 or 10 versus normal non peak response times.

I think that the dowloading of an iso file should be throttled. Perhaps in place of x bits per second download, it is x/2 per second. or perhaps the wget, curl, or other download fire transfer system should be self throttling. You are sharing a resource. An ISO download at supper time is an abuse.

Comment Re:$68 Billion for high speed trains (Score 1) 599 599

Instead of spending $68 Billion on a single high speed rail line between 2 cities that are already linked by several adequate transportation options, maybe we should use a fraction of that money for water projects? Moving water to where people live is a simple engineering problem. Why not solve it instead of being a victim of the weather?

Your suggestion is a good long term solution. Will that solution bring down the cost of food? Israel has a worse solution, and wastes far far less water. They bring water to individual plants via piping and drip irrigation.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson